Albemarle assistant city manager receives Old North State Award

City of Albemarle Assistant City Manager Darren Rhodes recently received the Old North State Award.

The award is presented by the governor to recognize “dedication and service beyond expectation and excellence to the Great State of North Carolina.” Additionally, to receive the Old North State Award, individuals must have 20 or more years of service in the state.

Rhodes began his career at the local government level as a development specialist for the City of Mount Airy and a town manager for the Town of Walnut Cove.

Prior to becoming assistant city manager of Albemarle, Rhodes served the state of North Carolina for more than 23 years in the state’s Department of Commerce. Rhodes was the rural planning program manager for the North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center. He also served the North Carolina Department of Commerce as the program manager for economic advancement and planning and chief planner for the Piedmont Regional Office.

“Darren was an exceptional leader for the planning staff that works with the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center at the North Carolina Department of Commerce,” said Kenny Flowers, assistant secretary for rural economic development. “In recent years, Darren was instrumental in positioning the rural planning team to coordinate a COVID recovery effort called Community Economic Resiliency and Recovery Initiative (CERRI) and the newest effort called Community Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) program.”

From left: Jeff Emory, Bruce Naegelen, Darren Rhodes, Liz Parham, Karen Smith and Charles Brown. (Contributed)

“It is truly an unexpected honor to receive this recognition,” Rhodes said. “My deepest appreciation to my colleagues at the North Carolina Department of Commerce for their years of support. I’m excited to continue to serve the State of North Carolina by being part of the team here at the City of Albemarle, working with the community to reach its potential.”

Albemarle City Manager Michael Ferris expressed his congratulations.

“Our organization is thrilled to see Darren’s skill, experience, and dedication recognized with this honor,” Ferris said. “We feel very fortunate to have Darren as a part of our city’s leadership team.”